Ink by Amanda Sun

13423346Ink by Amanda Sun
 Harlequin Teen
377 pages
 Paranormal Fiction
Romance, Japan, Painting, Kendo
How I obtained the book
Netgalley e copy


I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I’ve been really wondering if I read the right book or if I somehow got sent a different book on accident. It’s seems like the most logical explanation for this failure I read. The real INK just can’t be this bad, right?

… right?


The reason INK was so bad was because it was so average. There wasn’t anything unique about it other than the premise of paper gods. It’s a very standard YA paranormal romance that deviates very little from the set of “rules” that much of the genre follows. Y’know, this stuff:

– someone moves into new town
This step is a must because how else are you going to find an awesome, mysterious guy that the heroine doesn’t know? While the love interest can be the one to move to the town, it is much preferred to have the heroine move as to add to her outcasty, uniqueness. durh

– girl has trouble at school
This is also a must. The girl must have enemies so add a popular girl and get some stupid and silly reason for her to utterly despise the main character. Sometimes there isn’t even a reason really.

– “best friends”
These “best friends” usually have zero personality and are used as filler material. There isn’t any real reason for them other than nice and cheap plot and character development. Often they are used to push the heroine into the love interest.

– the heroine must bump into a hot paranormal dude
The sad part about this is that when I say, “bumps into”, I mean quite literally as the heroine usually falls into the love interest. I’m quite certain that every one of these guys have the power to somehow make the force of gravity stronger on these heroines.

INK fits into every one of these categories and more. It’s like Amanda Sun had a pile of clichés and very poorly stitched them together. The main character, Katie, not only moves into a new town, she moves into a new country and continent.

Wow, way to take that nice and far.

While you can’t often escape clichés and tropes, I really hate when the entire book is such walking cliché like INK is. There isn’t a single point that makes this book even sort of redeemable unless you count the fact that it’s set in Japan. Katie is an extremely annoying character and the romance is so insta that you just need to add water.

Katie is, for the most part, a bland Mary Sue. She can’t lie at all. This character point is actually really depressing if you count the fact that it’s one of the first things that come to mind when I think of her. She loves to endanger her life – y’know because you obviously it’s a perfect idea to stalk a guy who supposedly beat up his best friend. She often morphs into possessive stalker a la Lucinda Price. She’s also got a habit of being incredibly overdramatic:

I stared at him, my hands shaking. I’d been standing until then, but my legs buckled under me and I sank down to my knees beside him. I opened and closed my mouth, but no sound.
– 21% in ARC

I can’t even…

What elicited this response? He told her that his mother is dead. She was having a completely normal conversation and then all of a sudden, she just falls to the ground. Guys, read the passage in a really dramatic voice and picture that. It’s so hilarious.

Tomo is pretty bland as a character. He’s supposed to be this awesome hunk with an equally awesome personality but tbh, he’s more of a hot guy than anything else. He doesn’t have any qualities that jump out at you, whether they are positive or negative. He’s a nonentity that I really don’t care about.

The one fairly redeeming quality that saved this book from a disgusted DNF was the setting and the lore. I am the biggest lore sucker there ever was. I live for it. The lore behind the paranormal aspect of INK was interesting enough to keep me reading. If Sun had focused on this aspect instead of the romance, the book would have been so much better and actually would have lived up to the hype.

The writing was fairly average for the most part but I really enjoyed the sequences that described Tomo’s art. They really felt like what I thought the book would be like. It was moments like this that kept me turning the pages quickly.

This book has so much wasted potential that it almost makes me sad to think about it. It could have been so amazing if it weren’t for the averageness of the story, it could have gotten a much higher rating. I cannot recommend this to anyone and I won’t be reading the sequel.

lol we all know I will.


2 thoughts on “Ink by Amanda Sun

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